Training Journal – Really Just Gym Bouldering: 7/22/19 – 7/28/19

Wow. I didn’t sport climb at all this month. I spent one day trad climbing, and several days outside bouldering.

The past two weeks I’ve gone back to gym climbing because it’s just much more convenient. I need to figure out a balance between going outside and training indoors.

Gym bouldering at Worcester. Hangboard session with slopers, 2-pad crimps, 1.5 pad crimps, 3-fingers, etc.

Rest day (felt sick).

Rest day (felt sick).

Rest day (felt sick).

Gym bouldering at Waltham. Emphasized climbing more aggressively (with bigger throws, less pauses to consider moves). This was a direct result of watching and talking with a strong climber (former comp climber, 16+ years experience).

I noticed that he was both aggressive and smoothish (not the most beautiful style, but controlled and dynamic). I’ve noticed that by going too controlled, I can waste momentum and tire out. Part of this is to figure out when to power through and when to rest.

Campus board: 1-4, 1-5, and seeing if I could touch rung 6 (1-6). A few hangboard sets.

Got a free beer! (For flashing the V5 boulder problem of the day).

Gym bouldering at Boston. Focused on skipping holds, dynamic moves.

Gym bouldering. Arms and fingers felt weak, so this was a lower volume, easier day.

El Penon de Ifac – Parque Natural de Penyal D’Ifach

What I’m working towards: My objective is to climb the Diedra UBSA in Costa Blanca, Spain in November, an 8 pitch, 5.10a PG13 mostly sport route. This trip and objective is sponsored in part by the American Alpine Club + The North Face’s Live Your Dream grant.

I first came across the Penon d’Ifach, the massive limestone block that emerges from the Balearic Sea, while researching climbing in Spain last year. The striking outcropping has stayed on my mind since.

The grant is designed to help you “level up” your skills in a specific and measurable way. For context, I started climbing more seriously in 2018, and had only done about 30 lead climbs (in the 5.10 range) when I applied. I chose this route because it combines skills I’m keen to develop: Multi-pitch climbing, traditional climbing, anchor building, and endurance (suggested time is 6-9 hours). The goal date allows for six months to incrementally develop my technique and know-how.

So far this year, I’ve: Begun leading on trad, increased time on rock (as opposed to the gym) bouldering/ sport/ trad, practiced anchor building, did one multi-pitch (albeit a short one) and practiced belaying from top.

The longer-term dream is to do big alpine climbs in the Wind River Range.

Goals for July:

  • Days outside: 15
  • Sport leads: 30
  • Trad leads: 10
  • Multi-pitch: 1
  • Grade aim: 5.10+/5.11- sport, 5.6-5.8+ trad, multi-pitch 5.8-5.9 range
  • Focus: Lead more routes, push grades (project a few 5.12s), easy multi-pitch routes, bouldering
  • Stretch goal: Send V6 outside

Progress on July Goals as of 7/28:

  • Days outside: 8
  • Sport leads: 0
  • Trad leads: 3
  • Multi-pitch: 1

Goals for 2019:

  • Lead 5.11c/5.11d comfortably (sport)
  • Send a 5.12a (sport)
  • Lead 5.8-5.9 trad comfortably
  • Send a V7 outside
  • 100 days of climbing outside
  • Lead 300 routes on real rock

Progress on Year Goals as of 7/28:

  • Lead 5.10+ comfortably (sport)
  • Lead 5.6-5.7 trad comfortably
  • Send V4/V5 outside
  • ~31/100 days of climbing outside
  • ~42/300 lead climbs on real rock

El Penon de Ifac photo source: La Marina Plaza
Feature photo source:

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